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Game Warden Field Notes

The following items are compiled from recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) law enforcement reports.

Kids Say the Darndest Things

A Polk County game warden received a call from county dispatch regarding a father and his nine-year-old son who had gotten stuck in their buggy deep in a deer lease. They attempted to walk back to their camp and got lost in the process. County dispatch was able to ping their location within a three-mile radius. Once in the area, the warden was able to follow the tracks to the father and son. Dad commented to the son, “Yeah, might be bad luck being the second time we’ve been stuck together,” as the son responds, “but each time, dad, you were driving.” The warden responded, “you’re a smart kid,” and presented him with a Texas Game Warden badge.

Seedy Situation

Cargo was being inspected at a Dallas-Fort Worth Airport by Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Inspectors when they came across packages containing what they claimed to be steel nippers. The package didn’t have the expected weight and was opened for inspection. Inside the box was numerous bags of vegetable seeds and dried shrimp. A package contained Ipomoea Aquatica seeds (water spinach), a harmful aquatic species in Texas. A second package claimed to be shirts. Wrapped inside the clothing was a bag that also contained Ipomoea Aquatica seeds. It is illegal to import or possess this in Texas. The cases were referred to a Tarrant County game warden, and the packages were seized as evidence. The individuals who imported the products were issued citations. The issue is pending.

Swift Water Rescue

A Terrell County game warden responded to a call from the sheriff’s office when a local rancher was caught in a flash flood. His truck had died and was starting to move downstream from the rising water reaching the hood of his vehicle. It was dark, and there were no lights to light his way to safety, so he called 911 for help. The warden responded along with a deputy and volunteers. Armed with swift water personal floatation devices (PFD), a throw bag, and rope, they could make their way to the truck and extract the rancher to safety while being mindful of fencing downstream that could trap anyone who may lose their footing in the rushing water. Everyone went home safely that night.

Cue the Mutombo Finger Wag

Two Jefferson County game wardens patrolled Taylor’s Bayou when they saw a man in a shallow-drive mud boat quickly approaching them in the narrow bayou. The wardens motioned for the subject to slow down, and he shook his finger at them. The wardens were able to position their patrol boat beside the man and get his full attention, forcing him to come to a stop. The subject claimed he didn’t understand they asked him to stop. After checking his safety equipment, the wardens initiated an investigation after noticing signs of intoxication. The warden placed the subject under arrest for Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) and booked him into the Jefferson County Jail. The subject consented to a voluntary blood draw. The case is pending.

Early Bird Gets the Ticket

Galveston County Game Wardens were patrolling Galveston Bay and East Bay and saw several shrimp boats maneuvering in a manner consistent with shrimping. One vessel had nets and doors in the water. When asked to retrieve the net, it revealed cod. As a result, several vessels were cited for shrimping before legal hours. Cases are pending.

Four-Wheeler of Misfortune

While patrolling Twin Buttes Public Lands in Tom Green County, a local game warden contacted several individuals riding all-terrain vehicles. Some of the individuals could not produce a limited public use permit, as required to access the public lands. The warden decided to check if some of the ATVs were stolen and discovered one individual had a stolen four-wheeler from a nearby city. They turned the case over to the originating jurisdiction for investigation.

Don’t I Know You?

A Montgomery County game warden received a call from a local deer camp lessee who said someone had texted photos of a truck entering the property without consent. The warden provided sheriff’s deputies with the location of the lease and the layout of the property. The deputies walked into the property due to heavy rains and the lack of 4X4 vehicles. They apprehended a suspect who entered the camp illegally and was filling bags with hunting equipment. The warden arrived and aided in getting the suspect, the suspect’s vehicle, and the officers out of the property. The warden had previously arrested the suspect for property theft and stealing an ATV and other property from a nearby deer lease in 2017. The suspect was charged with burglary of a habitation and had a parole violation warrant for the earlier charge.